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What is considered wrongful death in Georgia? 

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Losing a loved one is a devastating and challenging experience for anyone. This can be made even more difficult if the death was due to the intent or negligence of another party. If someone’s act or negligence did result in a loved one’s death, you could have a valid wrongful death claim that can be pursued through the civil court system. There are several factors that will need to be evaluated when considering whether a situation should be considered wrongful death in this state.

Negligent Act Lead to Death

One situation that could be considered wrongful death is if the death was due to negligence of another party. Some examples of negligence can include if someone dies in a vehicle accident caused by another party, if they made a mistake using equipment that resulted in accidental death, or a wide variety of other situations that caused a death. Generally, a negligence wrongful death claim will be purely accidental and there may be no criminal charged applied. However, even if there were no criminal charges filed, you can still file a wrongful death claim in the civil court system. 

Medical Malpractice

When seeing a doctor or going in for a medical procedure, you will go in under the assumption that the medical provider will be knowledgeable, will make the right medical decisions, and provide you with good care. Unfortunately, accidents can happen during this process that can result in death. In these situations, you could file a medical malpractice claim. There are various examples of medical malpractice that could be covered under a wrongful death claim, which can include errors during surgery, not identifying symptoms or diagnosing a disease early enough, or prescribing the wrong medication. 

Defective Product

Another situation in which you could have a valid wrongful death claim is if someone died due to the use of a defective product. Whether it is a car, a piece of machinery, or any other product, it is assumed that you would be safe with reasonable and proper use. However, if there is a mechanical or other failure with a product, it could lead to serious injuries and even death. In these cases, you could consider filing a wrongful death claim against both the manufacturer and the retailer of the product. 

Death Caused by Criminal Act

While many cases of wrongful death are due to the negligence or accidents caused by another party, there are also situations in which someone can be seriously harmed or killed due to a criminal act or intent of another party. If someone is the victim or assault or abuse with a deadly weapon, and the case results in the death of the victim, you should consider filing a wrongful death claim. In these situations, it is also very common that the death will also lead to criminal charges against the assailant. 

Who Can File a Claim?

If you have a loved one that has passed away due to the negligence of another party, filing a wrongful death claim may seem like a good way to move forward. However, not everyone is able to file a wrongful death claim and it is important to understand who would qualify to file a claim in Georgia. In this state, there is an order of individuals that are permitted to file a claim. The first person who qualifies to file a claim is the surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, the order includes any surviving children or the parent’s of the deceased. If the deceased does not have any of these living relatives, the executor of the deceased’s estate will be permitted to file a claim.

What Can be Covered in a Wrongful Death Claim?

Losing a loved one due to a negligent act or intent of another party is a major loss. Due to this, there are a wide range of damages that can be sought during a wrongful death lawsuit. Some of the most common items that are included are the following:

  • Direct expenses incurred due to the accident including medical bills, funeral expenses, and other expenses incurred.
  • Future lost wages and benefits that the deceased would have reasonably earned over the course of their career. 
  • Damages and compensation for lost companionship, pain and suffering, and other similar losses incurred as a result of the death. 

If you believe that a loved on passed away, and you have a valid wrongful death claim, it is always important that you have legal support by your side. When you are going to hire an attorney, you will want to have one that has plenty of wrongful death claims experience. When you are looking for an attorney, you should consider hiring the team at Stoddard Law Firm. The legal team there can provide a range of legal services to ensure your rights are represented. This includes offering a full consultation, support in filing the claim and requesting the right amount of damages, handling any negotiations, and providing any services you need to receive a fair settlement and judgment for your loss. 


You may be interested in: A Complete Guide to a Wrongful Death Lawsuit